Thursday, February 08, 2007

The post where lefties cover Jonah's wager

Dear Jonah,

You've made it clear that you do not intend to pay off the $1000 wager you made with Juan Cole two years ago. You told Editor and Publisher that Jeff Cohen, founder of the Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, (and, presumably, the rest of the bloggers who've been bugging you about the bet) know that "Cole never took the bet, but he's trying to muddy the waters. Indeed, I've admitted that Cole would have won. I've written that the Iraq War was a mistake." And you have. Kudos (although I think your statement before the war that "The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense" demands something more than a simple apology. A year in a hairshirt, perhaps? Six months as a lunch lady at the Camp Anaconda chow hall? People are, after all, dying over there.)

Still, you're right that Cole didn't officially take the bet, suggesting for some odd reason that betting on a tragedy like the debacle in Iraq was immoral and disgusting. "(V)ery, very lame," you wrote, taking what you called a "victory lap." After all, you said, you had written that you "don't think it's right to bet on such serious matters for personal gain" and offered to send the money to the USO, which, obviously absolves you of any taint. Instead of treating the war like a thrilling bloodsport--a cockfight, for example--your offer to give the money to the USO made the bet more like a wager over a gigantic, horrendous, collateral-damage-causing cockfight for charity! Much better.

But I don't want this whole ordeal to rest uncomfortably upon your conscience, so I and a few friends of mine are going to cover your bet, Jonah. A few of my left blogger friends and I will each toss a few bucks into a hat to send to the USO to cover the $1000 they won't be getting from you. (I'll post some of their names later if they tell me they want me to.) Hell, I'll even put "From Jonah Goldberg" on the memo line of my check. There. You can rest easy.

After you do one more thing.

You have admitted that you were wrong about Iraq and that the war was a "mistake," but let's go back to your original post:
Anyway, I do think my judgment is superior to his when it comes to the big picture. So, I have an idea: Since he doesn't want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let's make a bet...
You see, while you've admitted your error, you have never clearly backed away from the first sentence in this paragraph. So, all I ask that you do in return for the fact that we lefties are covering your bet is admit clearly and publicly that Juan Cole's judgment is superior to yours when it comes to the big picture.

The USO will get the money no matter what you decide, Jonah. As someone who slept in a few airport USOs while in the service and drank plenty of the coffee at the USO on Bagram Air Field, I know how helpful the USO is to soldiers away from home. I hope, however, you can see your way clear to the admission that Professor Cole deserves. Trust me, you'll feel better. You might even feel so good you'll want to make a habit out of saying and writing things that have a clear basis in fact.

Yours truly,


P.S., From the USO:

Your order reference number is: USO 111738.

General USO Contribution: $100.00
Total Contribution: $100.00


Blogger Carnacki said...

Well done.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Erich said...

Actually, I thought Jonah's implication was that if Cole lost and paid him $1,000, he would donate THAT to the USO.

It is called Nitpicker, after all...

2:44 PM  
Blogger Prophet of Pwnage said...

This sounds great and hilarious, but Penny Arcade already did that for Jack Thompson. Copycat.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

If you read the above comment and thought what did to whom? I'm told by an expert--who will be known as Nitpicker Spawn Number One--that "Penny Arcade" some sort of comic book. Here's the story.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous ruttiger said...

this is dishonest:

"...the $1000 wager you made..."

there is no wager without both parties agreeing. if i walk up to you and say "i'll bet you a million dollars 2+2=4" and you say "screw off", there has been no wager. that's true even if i say "2+2=5" which is closer to the situation at hand.

it is no excuse that you point out later in the post that there was no wager. the clear effect of the beginning of the post is to obscure this. i agree with your sentiments re goldberg's arrogant idiocy, but come on.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous ruttiger said...

p.s. if you don't believe me that the effect was to obscure the facts, just check out what thinkprogress wrote. it is blatantly dishonest, clearly suggesting the goldberg lost a bet, which he didn't.

11:57 PM  
Blogger wkw said...

it is blatantly dishonest, clearly suggesting the goldberg lost a bet, which he didn't

Hmmm. You may have a point. Of course, being Goldberg was a lead cheerleader for a war that was blatantly dishonest and has thus far left a pile of American bodies 3,000 high, I'd say all bets are off. Except that one.

In all honesty, however, if Goldberg, Kristol and their band of whores had any integrity at all, they'd give every cent they've earned by being propagandists to disabled vets.

But they don't, and they won't.


4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's funny to me is how Jonah is now cherry-picking e-mails that have naughty, angry words in them and saying "see how these liberals are??"

Yeah, I gotta say, why is this money going to the USO?? After all, had a bet been placed - AS JONAH GOLDBERG DESIRED - Jonah would have lost, so why not to the charity of Cole's choice? Or, for example, why not to, say, Iraq Veterans Against the War - ??? I have no particular gripe with the USO, but if the idea is to stop this cluster of badness (note I didn't say clusterf***!!) in Iraq, rather than keep digging, as Jonah thinks we should, despite it being soundly demonstrated that his judgment on these matters is inferior, then why not give $$$ to a group that is pushing for that outcome?????

5:05 AM  
Blogger Connecticut Man 1 said...

As a veteran... One that was clearly against the Iraq debachle BEFORE it happened, and for all of the reasons that have proven correct...

I wanted to personally thank you on behalf of my brother in-law, who is still in service (getting ready for his 3rd tour in Iraq), and for making this kind gesture towards all soldiers that are stuck in Iraq, and everywhere else for that matter.

What part of "support the soldiers" do these Republican chickenhawks fail to understand? It is an all encompassing thing... Like saving their lives from reckless illegal invasions, and not allowing them to be targets in occupations of other countries' Civil Wars.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Dane said...

ruttiger said...
p.s. if you don't believe me that the effect was to obscure the facts, just check out what thinkprogress wrote. it is blatantly dishonest, clearly suggesting the goldberg lost a bet, which he didn't.

You really miss the point. Goldberg would never have taken the bet for a number of reasons, mostly out of fear of losing a grand, least of all because it was ghoulish to bet on or profit from a tragedy, the reason Cole would not do it, even though he knew he would win. I doubt doughboy pantload was ever that confident about anything.

3:58 PM  
Blogger "As You Know" Bob said...

ruttiger, you're missing part of the equation. The proposed wager wasn't just with Prof. Cole.

Goldberg publicly announced:

1) "My judgment is superior to Prof. Cole's"


2) the taunt: "Put your money where your mouth is".

Yes, Prof. Cole had too much honor to accept such a wager - but that doesn't let Goldberg back away from his very public wager. The wager was as much about Goldberg bragging about his "superior expertise" as it was a challenge to Prof. Cole. Goldberg now needs to put up AND shut up.

If he doesn't, he shows the world that his word is worthless: that he is completely without honor.

But then, we knew that already.

9:01 PM  

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